SNAPSHOT: Legal Campaigners Fight Climate Change Through the Courts

 
0
0
Share:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons

2018 saw an uptick in legal action on climate change, with citizens, cities, and states turning to the courts to push for faster government action to cut greenhouse gas emissions or hold fossil companies accountable for their outsized role in bringing about the climate crisis.

In a landmark decision that had climate hawks around much of the world hoping for a precedent, an appeal court in the Netherlands upheld a lower court order calling for faster emissions cuts by the national government. Courts in Germany ordered three cities to consider banning high-polluting diesel vehicles and temporarily protected a remnant of the 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest from an open-cast coal mine. A report found that more than 80 climate-related lawsuits had landed in U.S. courtrooms in 2017.

The Rise of Climate Attribution Litigation

Legal campaigners built on the emergence of climate impact attribution studies in 2017 as a possible tool for holding fossils, other businesses, and governments accountable for climate impacts by pinpointing the role of major emitters in climate disasters. In mid-May, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said time will tell how well attribution science fares in court. But by then, District Court Judge William Alsup had upheld two California cities’ right to attempt to sue carbon polluters in federal court. Alsup ultimately ruled against the cities, dealing “the first major blow to the wave of climate suits that have been filed by communities across the country over the past year,” Climate Liability News reported. But before concluding that it was up to elected legislators, not an unelected judge, to decide whether the world is better off without oil, Alsup held what amounted to a climate science seminar in his courtroom, in what Michael Burger, Executive Director of Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, called “the closest that we have seen to a trial on climate science in the United States to date.”

In Canada, West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) and the Georgia Strait Alliance were satisfied with the near-miss when a proposal to send municipal climate accountability letters to 20 colossal fossils earned the support of 47.8% of local officials at the Union of B.C. Municipalities. While “we narrowly lost the vote,” wrote WCEL staff lawyer Andrew Gage, “I felt surprisingly good about it” given the quick pace at which the proposal gained support. WCEL also released a legal tookit for campaigners opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Legal Action from All Directions

Rhode Island became the first U.S. state to sue fossils for climate impacts; Colorado filed against ExxonMobil and Suncor; and New York City launched a claim against five giant fossil producers for their role in Hurricane Sandy, “a tragedy wrought by the actions of the fossil fuel companies” that left 44 dead and US$19 billion in damage after it stormed ashore in October 2012.

Later in the year, New York State filed suit against ExxonMobil, claiming that America’s biggest oil company had misled investors about its management of climate risk. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni had previously accused Exxon of “running roughshod over the adage that the best defence is a good offence” with its claim that New York and Massachusetts were violating its free speech rights by probing whether it had misled investors. A bipartisan group in the United States proposed a carbon tax deal that would have protected fossils from future climate liability.

Dutch journalist Jelmer Mommers discovered that Royal Dutch Shell understood the urgency of climate change as far back as 1988. In mid-November, U.S. crab fishers sued 30 fossils, including Calgary-based Encana Corporation, in a bid to hold them accountable for “significant economic losses” due to ocean warming off California and Oregon.

Fourteen U.S. states sued the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce its methane control regulations, 19 states threatened legal action after the Trump administration moved to roll back tailpipe emission standards, and Colorado’s oil and gas regulator faced an environmental lawsuit from a poor, mostly Hispanic neighbourhood in the city of Greeley.

A Quebec village defeated a lawsuit that would have prevented it from protecting its water supply from fossil exploration. South Portland, Maine, won a landmark case upholding a local anti-pipeline ordinance, and anti-pipeline campaigners found out to their dismay that when they win in court, U.S. regulators just change the rules. Montreal-based ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU) opened a class action suit on behalf of Quebec youth aged 35 and under, taking Ottawa to task for its inadequate plan to combat climate change.

More Delays for Landmark Youth Lawsuit

The Trump administration continued its feverish effort to keep the 21 youth plaintiffs behind Juliana v. United States out of court. After the White House lost a bid to quash the case in March, the trial was scheduled for October 29. The plaintiffs bought their train tickets to Eugene, Oregon, only to be held up again by additional court challenges.

Youth in Colombia took their government to court for failing to protect their future, and eight youth plaintiffs filed suit in mid-April against Florida’s climate-denying governor, Rick Scott.

LATEST NEWS ON THIS TOPIC

Keystone Decision May Be a ‘Tough Moment’ for U.S.-Canada Relations, Biden Ally Warns

With the federal and Alberta governments mounting an all-out diplomatic effort to prevent cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, a close political ally of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is warning the new administration’s decision on the controversial project will be a “tough relationship moment” for the two countries.

Yellen Expected to Bring Climate Concerns to New Role as U.S. Treasury Secretary

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen as treasury secretary is being interpreted as the latest sign the new administration is planning a serious response to the climate crisis.

As an Oil Un-Building Looms, Newfoundlanders Ask: What Next, and Who Pays?

With 5,200 direct jobs lost in the fossil sector since March, the government of Newfoundland is beginning to talk, tentatively, about reinventing itself as a green energy leader. Also on the horizon: finding answers to the murky question of who will pay to decommission the fossil infrastructure left behind.

In Conversation: A Better Climate Accountability Bill Serves Everyone’s Interests, Croome and Andrews Say

Julia Croome and Alan Andrews are staff lawyers at Ecojustice, where they’ve been leading much of the climate community’s research and analysis leading up to the release of Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, last week. In this feature interview, they explain the essential difference between an accountability bill and a climate plan, the gaps in the current legislation, and why every party in Parliament should want C-12 strengthened.

GM Abandons Support for Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback

Giant automaker General Motors is stepping away from its support for Donald Trump’s efforts to strip California of its ability to set tougher fuel economy standards for vehicles, a move that some observers see as an early sign of U.S. industry embracing the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration when it takes office January 20.

Opinion: An Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable Electricity Future for Atlantic Canada is Renewable

Wind and solar are the cheapest forms of electricity on Earth, far cheaper than coal, nuclear, or natural gas. When paired with energy storage technologies and regional hydropower networks, they can deliver reliable power while reducing utility bills for ratepayers who most need the savings, say the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the Ecology Action Centre.

Manufacturer Shuts 3,400 MW of Capacity as Coal Becomes ‘Litmus Test’ for China’s Carbon Neutral Pledge

The world’s biggest aluminum and textile producer has shuttered 3,400 MW of coal-fired generating capacity in China’s Shandong province, even as the country weighs the more than US$300 billion in stranded asset risk it could face if it doesn’t begin restricting construction of new coal plants.

Consumer Goods Giants Mull International Plastic Pollution Treaty

While many of the world’s consumer goods giants—along with the majority of UN member countries—support a global treaty on plastic pollution, the creation of any serious framework will depend on the United States and China signing on to the agreement.

Enbridge Gets Crucial Army Corps Permit for Line 3 Pipeline

U.S. Climate Hawks Sue to Stop Arctic Drilling Plan

Canadian Climate Youth Take Case to Federal Court of Appeal

PEI Energy Corporation Appeals Rejection of Wind Farm Expansion

Carbon Capture at Montana Coal Plant ‘Not Financial Attractive’, Trump’s DOE Concludes

Minnesota Hydro Plant Gets $2.75-Million Upgrade

Wales Aims for Zero-Emission Biogas from Sewage

Study Finds ‘Prevalent’ Methane Leaks in Connecticut Housing

Ohio Regulator Fails to Protect Coal Miners’ Health

Kerry Named White House Climate ‘Czar’ as Analysis Shows U.S. Could Cut Emissions 38-54% by 2030

Paris Agreement architect John Kerry was appointed White House climate “czar”, a half-dozen other senior appointments signalled stability and continuity, and a few glass ceilings were shattered as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announced nominees for senior administration positions Monday.

Clean, Green California Still Allows Oil Drilling Next to Schools

Only 45 of Top 100 U.S. Cities Have Specific Carbon Targets

Market Conditions ‘Deteriorate Markedly’ for South African Coal

UK Issues First-Ever Green Bond

Climate Vulnerable Forum Push for Specifics as 151 Countries Promise Tougher Paris Targets

While more than 150 countries have confirmed their Paris Agreement commitments to introduce more ambitious climate plans by the end of this year, the Climate Vulnerable Forum is warning those promises may not be enough to avert the worst effects of the climate crisis in the countries it affects first and worst.

Globe and Mail: ‘Underwhelming’ Federal Climate Bill Leaves Accountability to Future Governments

The Trudeau government is taking criticism for introducing an “underwhelming” climate accountability bill last week that would require future governments, but not the present one, to live up to their carbon reduction commitments one.

B.C. Leads, Alberta and Ontario Imperil National Results in Efficiency Canada’s Latest Provincial Scorecard

British Columbia maintained its lead as Canada’s top jurisdiction for energy efficiency in 2019, Saskatchewan came in last for a second year running, Prince Edward Island distinguished itself as most-improved province, and program cuts in Alberta and Ontario emerged as a serious threat, as Efficiency Canada released its second annual scorecard of provincial efficiency programs.

Sea Level Rise Requires ‘Equitable Retreat’ from Coastal Communities

As rising seas and fiercer storms make the coast an ever more tenuous place to live, policy-makers all over the world need to plan and fund a managed retreat to ensure that under-resourced populations are not forced to forfeit what little security and agency they possessed in their former homes.

Transit Authorities Across U.S. Face Pandemic-Driven Funding Crisis

Pandemic-struck New York City is pleading for emergency transit funding, with tens of billions in local GDP, hundreds of thousands of transit-dependent jobs, and the ongoing struggle for social justice all hanging in the balance. And with former commuters continuing to shun their service in droves, transit districts across the U.S. are facing the same crisis.

Groups Sue Trump Admin for ‘Irrational’ Gulf of Mexico Environmental Assessment

New Mexico Enforces Clean-Up Rules Before Oilfield Leases Expire

Climate Hawks Hail Milestone, Flag Major Gaps in Trudeau Government’s Climate Accountability Bill

Canadian climate analysts and advocates are marking a milestone after the Trudeau government tabled its long-awaited climate accountability legislation in the House of Commons yesterday, while raising flags about major shortcomings in the bill.

Vancouver Passes $500-Million Climate Emergency Action Plan

If Vancouver’s newly-minted Climate Emergency Action Plan goes well, 2030 will find 80% of all trips within city limits occurring by foot, bike, or transit, embodied emissions in new buildings reduced by 40%, and 50% of all kilometres driven on city roads emitting zero greenhouse gases.

Pick Up the Pace on Climate Risk Exposure, Bank of Canada Governor Macklem Urges

Canada’s banks and businesses must pick up the pace on disclosing the risks they’re exposed to as a result of the climate crisis, newly-installed Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem told an online panel earlier this week organized by the Public Policy Forum.

‘Scathing’ Auditor General’s Report Shows Ontario At Risk of Missing 2030 Carbon Targets

The Doug Ford government’s failure to make greenhouse gas reductions a “cross-government priority” has placed it at risk of missing its 2030 carbon targets, and Ontario has reached “surprising” levels of non-compliance with a decades-old requirement to consult the public on environmentally significant projects, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk warned Wednesday in her annual review of the province’s Environmental Bill of Rights.

Midwestern U.S. Mayors Launch $60-Billion Energy Transition Blueprint

Mayors in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia recently unveiled a US$60-billion Marshall Plan for Middle America, intended to accelerate a compassionate, equitable, just, and sustainable transition away from fossil fuels.

‘Complacency is Breathtaking’ as Nations Approve 10 Years of Rising Emissions from International Shipping

Governments attending a key meeting on international shipping have adopted what one observer calls a “disastrously weak” plan that will lead to a decade of increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a sector that already adds a billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere each year.

Philadelphia Cuts Fees, Red Tape for Solar Installers

Campaigners Protest Opening of Expanded Berlin Airport

Voluntary Projects Produced Smaller Carbon, Deforestation Gains than Reported

Maritime Port Engineers Need Guidance on Sea Level Rise

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Governor Yanks Line 5 Pipeline Easement, Citing Enbridge Violations

Citing repeated and routine refusals by Calgary-based Enbridge to address safety concerns surrounding the 6.4-kilometre Straits of Mackinac section of its Line 5 pipeline, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has terminated the easement that allowed the submarine pipeline to operate.

Quebec Green Plan Falls Far Short of 2030 Carbon Target, Analysts Say

The Quebec government may have nabbed some early headlines by tipping the centrepiece of its Green Economy Plan, a 2035 phaseout of internal combustion vehicle sales. But once the full strategy was released Monday, climate analysts and campaigners quickly concluded that it won’t meet the province’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Farmers Sue Alberta Fossil for Unpaid Oil Lease Rent

Put off by their tenant’s abrupt decision to cease making its lease payments, two Alberta farmers have launched what may become the first class action lawsuit against unpaid oil leases—a far too common practice that weighs heavily on the public purse, and on rural landowners’ finances.

UK Expected to Set 2030 Target to Ban Petrol, Diesel Vehicle Sales

IESO Extends Deadline for Nation Rise Wind Farm Near Cornwall

Arizona Regulator Sets 2050 Carbon-Free Target for Utilities

New Evidence Could Tip Norway Supreme Court Case Against Arctic Drilling

Trudeau Government’s Climate Accountability Legislation Could Appear This Week

The Trudeau government is expected to release its long-awaited climate accountability legislation as soon as this week, complete with a formal commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 and legally binding five-year targets along the way. But CBC says it won’t include the enforcement mechanism that climate policy analysts consider essential to make the plan work.

In Conversation: Canada is Weakening Methane Regulations that Need to be Toughened, Marshall Says

Dale Marshall is National Climate Program Manager at Environmental Defence Canada, a veteran of many climate finance discussions at United Nations climate conferences, and one of the Canadian climate community’s specialists on methane regulations. In this feature interview, he talks about Canada’s failure to seize one of the quickest, easiest opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and explains what could possibly go wrong when Ottawa cedes its authority for methane controls to the three western provinces.

Ontario Youth Climate Defenders Win Their Day in Court

Almost a year after launching a climate lawsuit against their province’s government, seven young Ontarians have learned that their case can go forward, and they will have their day in court.

Early Signs Show Biden Setting Up to Deliver on Bold Climate Action Agenda

It’s still the earliest of early days in the Biden administration’s transition process, with countless decisions to be made, cabinet appointments to be vetted, and senior staff to be recruited. But the news reports so far are coming to an astonishing consensus: that President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris meant it when they declared climate action a priority, and they seem determined to deliver on the promise.

San Francisco Passes Landmark Natural Gas Ban for New Buildings

The city of San Francisco will begin banning natural gas as a heating or cooking energy source for all new residential and commercial buildings—except restaurants—as of next June, adding to a prohibition already in place banning natural gas in new city-owned buildings.

Six-Step Guide Supports EV Charger Installations in Condos

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House_Hanukkah_Party

Analysts Expect Fast Action on Infrastructure, Possible White House ‘Climate Czar’ as Biden-Harris Priorities Take Shape

Rolling back environmental deregulation, investing in green economic stimulus, restoring trust in science, and possible appointment of a White House “climate czar” are expected to be key priorities for U.S. President-elect Joe Biden after he’s sworn in January 20, sparking an equal and opposite reversal after the four years of deep damage caused by a soon-to-depart Donald Trump.

U.S. ‘Climate Corps’ Could Mimic Depression-Era Economic Lifeline

A U.S. program once put to work as an economic lifeline in the 1930s is being proposed for revival as a 21st-century response to youth unemployment, devastated ecosystems, and the climate crisis.

Army Corps Halts Permit for Multi-Billion-Dollar Petrochemical Complex in Louisiana

Public and climate health received a two-handed boost in Louisiana last week with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pressing pause on a proposed US$9.4-billion petrochemical complex, and voters rejecting an amendment that would have exempted Big Oil in perpetuity from paying property taxes.

Lawsuit Calls for Duke Energy, Not North Carolina Ratepayers, to Fund Coal Ash Cleanup

North Carolina-based Duke Energy is pushing for permission from the state’s utility commission to impose rate increases to cover the US$9 billion it will need for coal ash cleanup. But the company will be seeing the state’s attorney general, along with local environmental groups, in supreme court.

China’s Solar Surge Leads to Glass Shortage

With glass supplies running short and prices correspondingly spiking, Chinese solar manufacturers are appealing to Beijing to approve new glass factories—an industry that hit the brakes in 2018 when the country banned further expansion due to overcapacity concerns.

European Green Deal Takes Aim at LNG Exporters

Putin Decrees Limited Support for Paris Agreement Goals

Norway Heavy Fuel Oil Ban Shows Need for Action by IMO

Alberta Auditor General Slams Fossil ‘War Room’ for Undocumented Sole-Source Contracts

Alberta Auditor General Doug Wylie took aim at the Jason Kenney government’s hapless fossil industry “war room” in an annual report that identified more than C$1.7 billion in accounting errors, inaccurate projections, and other “adjustments” in the provincial budget.

‘Totally Worth It’, Regulator Says, After Trump Demotes Him for Backing Carbon Pricing, Distributed Energy

If every public school in the United States went 100% solar, the resulting emissions reductions would be equal to shuttering 18 coal-fired power plants. And, as one Arkansas school district recently proved, the money saved on energy costs could translate into higher pay for teachers.

Regulators Probe Future of Massachusetts Gas Industry

17 Major Customers Demand Tougher Carbon Target from Ocean Shippers

Biden-Harris Campaign Launches BuildBackBetter. com Transition Team Site

With the final ballots still being counted in five key states, but analysts and a desperate-sounding Donald Trump signalling the imminent end of the U.S. election campaign, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris unveiled BuildBackBetter. com as the online address for the transition leading up to their inauguration January 20.

Wilkinson Promises New 2030 Target in ‘Very Near Term’ as Opposition MPs Flag Delays

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson promised to announce measures to exceed Canada’s 2030 target for greenhouse gas reductions in the “very near term”, but refused to say when the government’s wider climate plan would be released, under questioning by opposition MPs at the House Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

Supreme Court Decision on Northern Quebec Uranium Mine Reinforces Social Licence, Indigenous Authority

The Supreme Court of Canada’s refusal to hear a case revolving around a proposed uranium mine near the Cree community of Mistissini reinforces Indigenous communities’ authority over natural resource development in their territories and underscores the importance of social licence for resource projects, the Grand Council of the Crees said late last month.

High Schoolers in Wyoming, Appalachia Offer Starkly Contrasting Visions of a Post-Coal Economy

A recent Zoom meet-up for high school students from Wyoming and the Appalachia region was an opportunity to talk about how coal can be the foundation for flourishing post-coal communities—but only if dollars are reinvested back into those communities and the local tax base is not hollowed out.

No Need to ‘Live Through Darkness’: Award Honoree Fights for Energy Equity

Driven by her personal experience with energy poverty, a recent Energy News Network 40 Under 40 honoree is working hard as a senior policy associate at a U.S. community solar developer to ensure that ethnicity, language barriers, and income do not bar homeowners from accessing renewable energy.

Newfoundland Fossil Crash Triggers Emotional Toll of Earlier Cod Moratorium

Ottawa Demands Water Quality Improvements at Teck Coal Mines in B.C.

Colorado Wants Longer Setbacks Between Fracking Wells, Populated Spaces

Australian Pension Fund Settles ‘Groundbreaking’ Claim on Climate Risk Assessment

An Australian retirement fund worth A$57 billion has reached an out-of-court settlement in a lawsuit launched by a member who accused it of jeopardizing his interests by failing to take seriously the climate risk exposure of its investments.

Citizens Decry Incomplete Assessment of Quebec’s Saguenay LNG Project

Environmental groups and concerned citizens are decrying the province of Quebec’s refusal to look beyond site-specific concerns in its analysis of a proposed C$9-billion natural gas liquefaction terminal on the Saguenay River.

Regulator Raises ‘Pointed Questions’ about Site C as Project Threatens Prime Farmland

A provincial regulator has filed a list of 75, often sharply-worded questions with BC Hydro, aiming to get to the bottom of the stability risks the utility is now reporting with its multi-billion-dollar Site C hydropower project.

Wealthy Countries Unload 14 Million Shoddy, Dirty, Unsafe Cars to Africa, Asia

About 14 million old, poor-quality used cars were exported from Europe, Japan, and the United States between 2015 and 2018, says a new study from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Of those vehicles, a whopping 80% did not meet local minimum safety standards, or the emissions standards set by the European Union.

Michigan Regulator Won’t Review Climate Impacts of Line 5 Pipeline

Netherlands On Track to Miss 2030 Climate Targets Despite Court Order

Vancouver Has More to Do to Hit 2030 Carbon Target

Alaska Fossils Spend Millions on Tax-Related Ballot Measures

Trump Ally, Climate-Denying Coal Boss Bob Murray Dies at Age 80

Net-Zero Promise Will Force Japan to Shutter 34 GW of Coal by 2040

Mayan Communities Sue Mexico Over Solar Megaproject

New Rules Require Earlier Air Monitoring at Colorado Fracking Sites

Biden Win, Pandemic Economy Could End Keystone XL as Trudeau, O’Regan Pledge Pipeline Support

The Keystone XL pipeline may be coming to the end of a very long road, ultimately brought down by the combination of a Joe Biden presidency and crashing global oil demand—even if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan are still standing beside Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to support the controversial project.

Ottawa Can’t Predict Emission Cuts from New Methane Controls

The federal government is trying out a revamped set of fossil industry incentives to hit its target of reducing methane emissions 40 to 45% by 2025, but at least three environmental groups in Canada and one in the United States say Ottawa could get better results if it just regulated the companies’ emissions.

South Korea Follows Japan with Carbon-Neutral Pledge

Pembina Flags Three Climate Priorities for B.C.’s Majority Government

Wyoming Funds Out-of-State Campaigns to Prop Up Coal Demand

Trump Offshore Drilling Ban Hits Wind Farms, Too

Australian Groups Call for Better Regulation of Coal Ash Dams

15 Climate Youth Plan Appeal After Court Rejects Lawsuit for Federal Recovery Plan

An appeal is in the offing after a Federal Court judge rejected a lawsuit by 15 Canadian youth calling for the Trudeau government to develop a science-based climate recovery plan.

U.S. Can’t Decarbonize Transport without Driving Less, New Analysis Warns

Transportation programs that emphasize electric vehicle use without also limiting the distances people have to drive won’t be enough to achieve rapid decarbonization, Transportation for America and Smart Growth America warn in a report issued earlier this month.

International ‘Right to Repair’ Movement Calls for End to Forced Obsolescence

A growing movement calling for the “right to repair” is finding deep, cross-partisan support, with advocates ranging from medical personnel desperate to repair broken ventilators in a timely fashion to car owners who want to fix software glitches at their local garage. And policy-makers are increasingly tuning in, with the European Union taking the lead.

Oil Rig Provider Tranocean Dumped Out of NY Stock Exchange

Scottish Developer Gets Green Light for Country’s Tallest Wind Farm

Democrats Explore How Biden Climate Plan Would Navigate a Hostile U.S. Senate

With a bitter presidential campaign in the United States winding down to its last 100 or so hours, and Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris holding a steady lead in opinion polls, U.S. analysts are starting to ponder how much the new administration will be able to get done on climate policy once it takes office—and how they’ll go about it.

Alberta Caribou Plan Allows Fossil Drilling Right Away, Delays Habitat Protections Five Years

The federal and Alberta governments have signed on to a protection plan for the province’s caribou that gives them five years to develop and implement range plans for the endangered herds, but allows fossil drilling in some of their habitats to start up right away.

Swiss Oil Traders Rankle at Call for Higher Human Rights, Environmental Standards

A popular Swiss plebiscite that would hold companies in the country liable for human rights and environmental violations is making many of the nation’s business leaders sweat—especially the oil traders.

New Jersey to Ban Internal Combustion Vehicle Sales in 2035

Province Pans Delays After Feds Approve Alberta Gas Line Expansion

Wyoming Utility Looks to Recycle Used Wind Turbine Blades

Singapore Takes Comprehensive Approach to Cutting Emissions

Too Much Sun Can Degrade Anti-Corrosion Coating on Pipelines

New Flood Defences Protect Venice Twice in October

U.S.–Mexico Water Rights Standoff Kills Protester, Points to Risk of Future Climate Conflict

The climate crisis is exacerbating long-standing tensions over water rights between Mexico and the United States—tensions that exploded last month to lethal effect when Mexican national guardsmen killed a young farmer.

Trump Moves to Open Tongass National Forest to Logging

EU Carbon Price Would Have to Triple to Support Green Hydrogen

German Defence Minister Sees ‘Momentous’ Challenge in Climate Change

Ottawa City Plan Sets Sights on Zero Emissions, 4.4 GW of New Renewables by 2050

The City of Ottawa has released a long-awaited energy transition plan that has it eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions, phasing out all fossil fuel use, shifting all heating and transportation to electricity or other zero-emission options, and adding 4.4 gigawatts of new solar and wind capacity by 2050.

Maui Files Lawsuit to Recover Climate Damages from 20 Fossil Companies

Maui County in Hawaii has filed a lawsuit against 20 oil and gas companies, including colossal fossils ExxonMobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, and ConocoPhillips, hoping to secure compensation for the rising costs the community faces due to climate change.

Federal Committee Excludes Big Buildings from Key Airtightness Standard

Michigan Governor Whitmer Pledges Carbon-Neutral by 2050

German Environment Minister Wants 75-80% Renewables by 2030

Wilkinson Interested in Carbon Border Adjustment as Analysts Scan Biden Trade Policies

The Trudeau government is expressing warmer interest in carbon border adjustments (CBAs) as a way to control industrial greenhouse gas emissions without putting Canadian companies at a competitive disadvantage internationally, just as the European Union and the United States begin serious musings about taking similar steps, the Globe and Mail reports this week.

Op-ed: Alberta’s Managed Coal Power Plummet a Climate ‘Success Story’

Alberta’s turn away from coal has been a “climate action success story” thanks to key policies—many unpopular—set by former premier Rachel Notley, according to a recent essay written by two Alberta economists.

Tackling Plastic Waste Crisis Means Total System Overhaul, Not Bioplastics

Expensive to make and less versatile than their fossil-based cousins, bioplastic products are not the solution to the world’s plastic woes—and are by no means as biodegradable as consumers are led to think, a new study concludes.

Drop Tactics that ‘Disturb Innocent People’, Attenborough Urges XR

Building Retrofits, Clean Transportation Lead Green Budget Coalition’s 2020 Recommendations

The Green Budget Coalition is calling on the Trudeau government to include C$10 billion for building energy retrofits, $4.8 billion for clean transportation, $4.8 billion for protected areas, and $2.6 billion for nature-based climate solutions in its 2020 budget.

Coney Barrett Refuses to State ‘Views on Climate Change’ En Route to U.S. Supreme Court Appointment

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett dodged and weaved through two days of questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but “created perhaps the most tangible backlash” with her refusal to declare a position on climate change, the New York Times reports.

New York Looks to Replace Six Gas Peaker Plants, Brings Environmental Justice Groups Into the Process

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is considering replacing six gas-fired peak power plants in the New York City area with battery storage and other advanced energy options, and promised last week to plan the transition in partnership with environmental justice groups.

Physicians Urge B.C. to Shift from Gas to Electric Appliances

Pop-Up Bike Lanes Spark Controversy in Berlin

Canada’s Building Codes Fall Short of Net Zero-Ready Goal

Edmonton Utility Pushes Solar Project Over First Nations’, Green Groups’ Objections

Hawaii Utility Looks for 300 MW New Solar, 2,000 MWh Storage

Developer Plans 4.4 GW Offshore Wind for Taiwan

Navajo Ranchers Endure in the Face of Relentless Drought

Navajo Nation ranchers in the southwestern United States are holding resolute in their work despite two decades of drought, centuries of abused or broken water rights, and, now, grief over loved ones lost to the coronavirus pandemic.

Plastic Bag Ban Could Produce Unintended Environmental Consequences

Fracking CEO Faces Fraud Lawsuit

U.S. Regulator Breaks 40-Year Precedent on Small-Scale Solar

German Greens Call for End to New Highway Construction

Fossil Shutdowns Could Lead to Pricey Compensation Claims Under Investor Dispute Settlement Rules

A maze of more than 2,600 bilateral treaties and preferential trade agreements could expose governments to costly lawsuits by allowing foreign investors and shareholders to recover losses on their stranded oil, gas, and coal assets, according to a new analysis by the London, UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development.

Emissions of Super-Pollutant Nitrous Oxide Rising on ‘Worst-Case’ Trajectory

Global emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) are rising on a frightening scale, putting them on track to single-handedly push global warming far beyond the limits of the Paris Agreement, according to a new study.

Natural Gas ‘Bridge’ Gets ‘Shorter and Narrower’ as Corona Drives Down Demand

Natural gas is quickly declining as a supposed “bridge” between coal-fired electricity and renewable energy, without even factoring in the climate-busting methane emissions that come along with natural gas produced by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Global Energy Storage Could Hit 741 GWh by 2030

Global energy storage capacity could hit 741 gigawatt-hours (GWh) by 2030, an astonishing threshold that would be driven by compound annual growth of 31%, according to a new assessment by Wood Mackenzie that shows the United States accounting for almost half of the global total.

Facebook Persists as a Haven for Climate Disinformation

Though Facebook insists that it is curtailing the spread of climate disinformation, anti-climate ads continue to circulate widely via the social network behemoth.

Canada Would Need Minimum $117 Carbon Price without Other Emission Reduction Programs: PBO

U.S. Court Strikes Down Obama-Era Methane Rule

Leaked 2018 Strategy Proposed ‘Broader Than Oil’ Coalition to Undercut Ottawa’s Clean Fuel Standard

A top communications and government relations firm led by long-time Conservative Party strategist Jaime Watt developed a confidential plan to undercut support for the federal Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) by convincing Canadians that “fighting climate change is a losing battle,” according to leaked documents released this week by Greenpeace Canada.

European Parliament Adopts 60% Carbon Cut by 2030 as Fossils Fall Short of Paris Targets

European legislators adopted a legally-binding target this week to decrease greenhouse gas emissions 60% by 2030, more ambitious than the net reduction of “at least 55%” the European Commission had proposed, even as a new study found the continent’s fossil companies’ climate plans falling short of the targets in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Canada’s Plastics Reduction Plan Earns Praise, Criticism

The Canadian government’s declared intent to ban certain single-use plastics and start leading on recycled content standards and extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs has met with backlash, praise, and demands that more be done.

China’s Air Quality Gains May Have Increased Atmospheric Warming

Clean Energy Canada Lays Out Arguments for ZEV Mandate

Climate Brings Coastal Problems to U.S. Side of Lake Ontario

Mississippi, Tennessee Haggle Over Aquifer as Water Levels Drop

U.S. Groups Form New Clean Power Lobby

Innu Nation Files $4-Billion Compensation Claim for Churchill Falls Hydropower Project

The Innu Nation of Labrador has filed a C$4-billion court claim against Hydro-Québec and Churchill Falls Corporation, saying their culture and way of life have been devastated by construction of the 5,428-megawatt Churchill Falls hydropower project beginning in 1967.

No-Strings Federal Bailout for Newfoundland Fossils Followed Rushed, Incomplete Impact Assessment

Three leading environmental organizations are criticizing Ottawa’s decision to hand over C$320 million to the offshore oil sector in Newfoundland and Labrador, after a federal science review found fault with a new regulation that permits new exploratory drilling projects without further environmental assessment or public input.

Review Finds Michigan Underwater Pipeline Tunnel Plan ‘Riddled with Hazards’

Enbridge’s plans to build a pipeline tunnel to carry oil beneath a waterway linking Lake Michigan to Lake Huron are below industry standard and riddled with hazards, according to a group of experts asked to evaluate the project.

Loopholes Allow 84% of Heavy Fuel Oil Use to Continue

Russia ‘Has a Lot to Lose’ if EU Adopts Border Carbon Adjustment

Big Oil Dominates Donations in Alaska Tax Ballot Fight

Chinese Chemical Plants Begin Capturing Nitrous Oxide, a Super-Pollutant 300 Times More Potent than CO2

An industrial gas company in China has taken a “noteworthy step” to capture and reuse nitrous oxide, a climate pollutant that is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, InsideClimate News reports.

Nature-Based Solutions Risk a Greenwashing ‘Circus,’ Says International Coalition

An international coalition of NGOs and Indigenous groups is warning that the net-zero emissions concept has become little more than a licence to pollute as governments and fossils leverage their version of “nature-based solutions” to dodge the heavy lifting of actual emissions cuts.

Wet’suwet’en Petition for Judicial Review of Coastal GasLink Certificate

Ontario Won’t Appeal Court Ruling Against Anti-Carbon Tax Propaganda Stickers

IEA Says Climate Goals ‘Virtually Impossible’ without Carbon Capture

Suppressed Study Shows Polar Bears at Risk from Alaska Oil and Gas Drilling

A senior Trump administration official is delaying release of a science study that shows how Alaska oil and gas drilling would encroach on the territory of endangered polar bears, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post.

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Was Preventable, Japanese High Court Rules

The devastating Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdowns and explosions in 2011 could have been prevented, a Japanese high court concluded Wednesday, in a ruling that triggered about US$9.5 million (¥1 billion) in damages for thousands of residents who lost their livelihoods and could also lead to further compensation claims.

UK Moves Up Ban on New Fossil Fuel Vehicles to 2030

Judge Orders Europe’s Biggest Coal Plant to Negotiate Closure with Environmental Lawyers

Climate Strikers Accuse CPC Leader O’Toole of Grabbing Their ‘Take Back Canada’ Slogan

Portuguese Climate Youth Sue 33 countries

Lake Erie Wind Farm Clears Major Hurdle

Exxon Uses U.S. CCS Tax Credit to ‘Drive Up Profits, Keep Oil Flowing’

While carbon capture and storage is touted as a way to decarbonize fossil fuel production, colossal fossil ExxonMobil has been using a CCS facility in Wyoming to drive up profits and keep oil flowing by selling its captured carbon dioxide to other companies that use it to pump more oil, InsideClimate News reveals in a detailed report.

Hundreds of Toxic U.S. Superfund Sites at Heightened Risk of Climate Change Impacts

More than two-thirds of the 1,334 Superfund sites that currently blight the U.S. are increasingly at risk of serious climate change impacts—but that hasn’t stopped the White House from doubling down on denial while slashing funds earmarked for remediation.

Sweden, Norway Take a Lead in EU’s Swing to Renewable Energy

Nordic countries are helping to lead on the European Union’s commitment to source 30% of its energy from renewables by 2030, thanks to renewable-driven heating systems and smart energy developments.

Chad Risks World Heritage Status for Iconic Lake in Exchange for Fossil Dollars

A two-year international effort to have Lake Chad declared a UNESCO world heritage site on both cultural and environmental grounds may come to naught with the revelation that Chad has asked to put off the registration process—in order to allow it to accommodate oil and gas interests.

Trump Tweets Plan for $22-Billion Freight Line from Alaska to Alberta

Canadian tar sands/oil sands producers are hoping for another export route to Asia after Donald Trump said he would issue a presidential permit to build a C$22-billion freight rail line between Alaska and Alberta.

Ford Workers Ratify Deal that Brings EV Manufacturing to Oakville

Court Restores Trespassing Charges Against Credit Suisse Protesters

Ottawa Postpones Building Code Updates to December 2021

Yukon Green Plan Includes EV Rebates

FERC Allows Distributed Energy to Compete with U.S. Power Plants

U.S. Regulator Foresees Financial Havoc from Climate Change

Japan Blocks Green Reforms in Energy Trading Treaty

Humanity Faces a ‘Climate Reckoning’, Trudeau Says, as 60 World Leaders Sign Climate-Biodiversity Pledge

The world faces a “climate reckoning”, and countries must create a more equitable international system that can confront 21st century challenges, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the United Nations General Assembly in a recorded address Friday.

Canadian Youth Climate Lawsuit to Begin Hearings This Week

Even as it declares that its recovery plans are rooted in climate action, the Canadian government is working hard to dismiss a climate injury suit launched a year ago by 15 Canadian youth activists, including a teenager from Haida Gwaii who is witnessing the devastation of rising seas first hand.

California Bans New Internal Combustion Car Sales After 2035

The U.S. state that likes to style itself the world’s fifth-largest economy will ban all sales of new gasoline-powered cars after 2035 under an executive order signed last week by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Indonesia Deforestation Soared Under Pandemic Lockdown

BREAKING: New Assessment Declares Canada’s Climate Plan ‘Insufficient’ as Throne Speech Day Dawns

With the Trudeau government just hours away from tabling its long-awaited Speech from the Throne, the international Climate Action Tracker is branding the country’s carbon reduction efforts “insufficient” and consistent with a 3.0°C world, with “little support” for green recovery measures to date.

Wilkinson Says COVID Won’t Hijack Canada’s Green Agenda as Climate Community Demands Commitments, O’Regan Touts Nuclear

On the eve of this afternoon’s Speech from the Throne, Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is declaring that the pandemic won’t hijack Canada’s green agenda, adding that “if left unaddressed, climate change will have more of an impact on Canadians than COVID-19,” CTV News reports.

Supreme Court Hears Carbon Pricing Appeals in ‘Make-or-Break’ Case

The Supreme Court of Canada is in the midst of a high-stakes, two-day hearing on whether the federal government’s floor price on carbon is constitutional.

Opinion: Ginsburg’s Death Deals Another Blow to U.S. Climate Law

United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s uniquely untimely death on September 18, less than two months before the 2020 U.S. presidential election, may result in Donald Trump picking a third Supreme Court justice before his four-year term ends in January 2021.

Brazil Indigenous Communities Use Drones to Protect Amazon

‘Battery Passport’ Promotes Ethical Sourcing for Lithium-Ion Manufacturing

West Coast Wildfires Reveal Risks in Carbon Offset Credit System

Energy economists may soon need to add a further entry to the chronicle of loss generated by this summer’s wildfire infernos: millions of carbon offset credits.

Snoozing EV Driver Caught Speeding, Angers Alberta Tesla Community

A Tesla driver’s recent asleep-at-the-wheel stint on autopilot on a highway south of Edmonton has left road patrols gobsmacked and Tesla devotees fuming at a behaviour they say maligns an otherwise safety-conscious crowd.

U.S. Court Delays Trump Methane Regulation Rollback

Alberta Community Felt Duped by Wind Developer’s Sales Tactics

Pennsylvania Gas Production Hits New High

Critics Demand Financial Review of Trans Mountain Pipeline, Claim Victory Slowing Down Construction

A list of more than 100 Canadian economists and resource policy specialists that includes a former CEO of BC Hydro and Ontario Hydro is urging the federal government to reassess the viability of the Trans Mountain expansion project in light of rising project costs and plummeting oil demand, while a group of campaigners in British Columbia takes a victory lap for slowing down construction of the controversial pipeline.

Pension Plan’s Fossil Investments Undercut Canada’s Climate Commitments, Report Concludes

The Canada Pension Plan’s “substantial private equity investments” in the fossil industry over the last few years have undercut the country’s climate commitments and “underestimate the urgent need for climate action and energy transition,” according to a new report from the Canada Climate Law Initiative that scorches the “troubling incrementalism” in the CPP’s investment strategy.

Only One in Three Canadian Dealerships Stocks EVs Despite Surging Demand

Canadians looking to buy an electric vehicle likely face a long wait, with auto dealerships across the country chronically undersupplied even as policy-makers invest in charging infrastructure and incentives, says a new report commissioned by Transport Canada.

Insurer Files Suit Against Dike Builder in Devastating 2019 Flood

U.S. Funds Industry Pushes Back After Trump Tries to Limit Green Investments

Charleston, SC Becomes First U.S. Southern City to Sue Fossils for Climate Damages

Ontario’s Ford Government Guts Environmental Protections, Undermines Health Record

While Ontario’s Ford government has proven to be an able defender of health in the face of COVID-19, it continues to be a profound threat to the environment, gutting established protections, hobbling climate action at every opportunity and, most recently, hamstringing the province’s environmental review process.

Move Toward EVs Not Enough to Mitigate Ride-Hailing Emissions

While recent pledges by Lyft and Uber to electrify their entire Canadian fleets by 2030 are laudable, public policy is still needed to tackle the growing spike in emissions as a pandemic-wary public increasingly turns away from transit and toward ride-hailing.

Three Chinese Conservation Activists Detained for ‘Picking Quarrels’

Delaware Sues Fossils for Climate Impacts

Justin Trudeau

Fossils Troll for Relief as Throne Speech Focus Veers Toward Housing, Income Support

With the latest news and commentary out of Ottawa pointing to housing, employment insurance reform, and long-term care as main focal points for the September 23 Speech from the Throne, the fossil industry is pushing the Trudeau government for more bailout dollars and regulatory delays as part of the economic recovery from the pandemic.

Climate Crisis ‘Does Not Pause for Pandemic’, G7 Parliamentary Speakers Declare

The COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis “require a robust and coordinated national response”, and elected parliaments must play a key role “by passing legislation, by approving national budgets, and by holding governments to account,” the speakers of the G7 parliaments declared Saturday, in a joint statement signed by the speaker of the Canadian House of Commons, Anthony Rota.

UK Citizen Climate Assembly Calls for ‘Fair’ Green Recovery

A ban on SUVs, a frequent flyer tax, carbon emissions labelling, and protections for those most exposed in the push to net zero were among the core recommendations when the UK’s citizen-led Climate Assembly issued its final report last week.

http://midwestenergynews.com/2013/10/24/as-pipeline-concerns-mount-a-renewed-focus-on-the-great-lakes-enbridge-mackinac-line-5/

Line 5 Pipeline Reopens After Regulators Complete Safety Review

Calgary-based Enbridge Energy has received permission to restart normal operations on the east leg of the aging Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac, after a review by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration “did not identify any integrity issues” caused by an anchor support being pulled out of place, apparently by a contractor’s support vessel.

Australian Utility to Offer EV ‘Subscriptions’

In an Australian first, Sydney-based public utility AGL is launching a “Netflix for EVs”: a rather pricey subscription service, paid weekly, that offers customers access to a serviced and insured electric car, along with the home charging system they need to keep it powered.

Nalcor, Newfoundland and Labrador Resist Class Action Suit in 2017 Flood

Alberta Dials Down Expectations with Softer Mandate for ‘Foreign-Funded Radicals’ Inquiry

The Alberta government may be losing momentum in its crusade against supposed “foreign-funded special interests” working against the province’s oilpatch, with the deadline for commissioner Steve Allan’s report delayed four months and his terms of reference adjusted to acknowledge that he might not actually find any foreign influence over the industry.

Judge Strikes Down Ontario’s Gas Pump Propaganda Stickers as ‘Blatant Advantage-Seeking’

The Doug Ford government’s gas tank propaganda stickers against the federal floor price on carbon were an “unconstitutional attempt” to force private gas station operators to “stick it to” another order of government or political party, Justice Edward Morgan of the Ontario Superior Court ruled Friday.

21 of 50 Major ‘Recovery’ Projects in U.S. Involve Fossil Investment

Trump Rolls Back Obama-Era Rule on Toxic Coal Ash

Shipping Emissions Set to Grow 30% from 2008 to 2050

Hoboken, NJ Launches the Latest Climate Liability Suit Against Big Oil

In the latest in a groundswell of climate liability lawsuits, the coastal city of Hoboken, New Jersey is suing six fossil giants as well as the American Petroleum Institute (API) trade group, accusing them of a deliberate, decades-long campaign of deception and demanding compensation for current and future climate impacts.

E4D Urges Ottawa to Enshrine Chief Science Advisor Position in Legislation [Sign-On]

Three years after the Trudeau government appointed Chief Science Advisor Dr. Mona Nemer, Evidence for Democracy is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains to formalize the position in legislation and add C$2 million per year to Nemer’s budget.

Hurricane Laura Delivers Predictable, Preventable Damage to Marginalized Communities

As the residents of Louisiana’s industry-heavy coast begin the long work of recovering from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Laura—and the highly toxic chemical fire it triggered—citizens are once again facing down one of the hard truths of a fossil economy: when a climate disaster strikes, marginalized communities get pummelled.

Coalspur Demands Judicial Review of Federal Assessment for Vista Coal Mine Expansion

The company behind the Vista coal mine is calling for a judicial review of Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s decision to order an environmental assessment of its controversial plans to expand its operations.

Feds Won’t Commit to Renewal as Popular ZEV Rebate Nears Funding Limit

The federal government isn’t saying whether it will top up funding for its C$300-million electric vehicle purchase incentive, even though Transport Canada figures show 75% of the funds used up in the first 15 months of the three-year program.

Fossils Receive More Than 3,000 Pollution Monitoring Exemptions from Trump’s EPA

New Map Unmasks Illegal Loggers in Brazil

Better Knowledge, Aging Infrastructure Drive Rising Environmental Insurance Claims

Harris Brings Record on Climate Action, Environmental Justice to Biden Presidential Ticket

Less than 24 hours after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden chose Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate in this fall’s election, the climate news wires were buzzing with recaps of her position on climate action, her record on environmental justice, and the likely outcome after the Biden-Harris campaign pushes the Trump administration out of office in November.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Charging_stations_in_SF_City_Hall_02_2009_02.jpg

Plug-In Hybrids Miss Their Carbon Targets as Owners Fail to Charge Batteries

A new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters gets at the strange and vexing question of why some car owners in the United States go to the trouble of buying plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), then rarely if ever plug them in.

Alberta Aims to Solve Decades-Old Regulatory Problem with Orphan Wells

Manitoba First Nation Pans Nuclear Commission’s ‘Colonial, Inexcusable’ Behaviour

Sea Level Rise Threatens Hundreds of Toxic U.S. Superfund Sites

Big California Gas Utility Accused of Undermining Electrification

Climate Crisis Demands Arctic Cooperation, Not Competition

Ocasio-Cortez Looks to Block Pipelines with U.S. Budget Bill

In Conversation: Canadians Must Keep Up the Pressure for Green Recovery, Sen. Rosa Galvez Says

Sen. Rosa Galvez chaired the Department of Civil and Water Engineering at Laval University, where she led a research project on the consequences of the explosion and spill of an oil-carrying freight train in Lac Mégantic before she was appointed to the Canadian Senate on November 2, 2016. As a member of the Senate National Finance Committee, she played a leading role in a review of Canada’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this interview, she assesses the federal government’s record so far in building a green recovery that focuses on people first.

Quebec Funds Renewable Natural Gas Projects for Export to Vermont

Oklahoma Indian Land Decision Could Affect Massive Cushing Oil Terminal

Budget Cut for Tar Sands/Oil Sands Monitoring Raises Health Concerns for Nearby First Nations

Indigenous communities in northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories say they’re losing faith in federal and provincial environmental monitoring in the tar sands/oil sands, after The Canadian Press revealed earlier this week that this year’s field research program will sustain a funding cut of about 25%.

BC Hydro, NDP Blame COVID-19 for Site C Overruns, Despite Pre-Existing Problems

Two years after an international expert wrote a lengthy report on the myriad factors likely to lead to major construction cost overruns on the Site C hydroelectric dam, BC Hydro is blaming the COVID-19 pandemic for the multiple woes that now beset the megaproject. Not so fast, say those who have long and fiercely opposed it.

Alberta’s Fossil Tax Relief Plan Downloads Financial Pain to Small Communities

Alberta’s United Conservative Party is considering relieving the province’s oil and gas operators of their obligation to pay municipal property taxes, an act of corporate welfare that would leave rural communities unable to balance their budgets without resorting to steep residential tax hikes or savage cuts to services. 

Dakota Access Pipeline Dodges Immediate Shutdown, Still Faces Environmental Review

The owner of the Dakota Access pipeline has dodged an order to immediately shut down operations, but will still have to undergo a full environmental review, after an appeal court overturned a judge’s order in early July that the line must cease operations within 30 days.

New York City’s Managed Retreat Has Already Begun

California’s Top Oil Driller Files for Bankruptcy

Twitter Storm Greets Wilkinson Defence After Pandemic Produces 25% Cut in Tar Sands/Oil Sands Monitoring

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is pushing back on Twitter—and receiving a small Twitter storm in return—after The Canadian Press reported a 25% cut in the country’s environmental monitoring program for the Alberta tar sands/oil sands due to the coronavirus pandemic.

B.C. Regulations to Push EVs to 30% of New Cars by 2030, 100% by 2040

Two years after announcing its zero-emission vehicle program, British Columbia has released the year-by-year regulatory targets that will help manufacturers and retailers make the shift to all-electric new car sales by 2040.

Mississippi River Farmers Look to Nature-Based Flood Mitigation

Wilkinson Orders Federal Environmental Assessment for Vista Coal Mine Expansion

Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is earning praise for ordering a federal environmental review of the proposed Vista coal mine expansion near Hinton, in the Rocky Mountain foothills of Alberta, reversing an earlier decision after facing intense pushback from the Louis Bull Tribe, the Stoney Lakoda Nation, and Ecojustice.

Fossil Lobby Demands Changes to ‘Overly Prescriptive’ Federal Bailout Rules

Canada’s fossil lobby is complaining about federal bailout programs designed to help companies weather the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming the conditions they’re required to meet are “ineffective and overly prescriptive,” the Globe and Mail reports.

Landmark Economic Analysis Shows 5:1 Return on Protected Area Investments

The most comprehensive cost-benefit analysis ever on nature protections has found that the economic, ecological, and spiritual benefits of protecting 30% of the world’s marine and terrestrial ecosystems will outweigh the costs by a factor of at least five to one.

Transit in a Pandemic: Now Is the Time to Undo Neglect, Systemic Racism

As pandemic-weary Americans flee mass transit in droves and commuter-driven emissions begin to spike back up, a Black transit policy expert is urging city leaders to recognize the critical role that public transit plays in creating a world where Black lives do matter. 

Canada, U.S. Pursue ‘Joint Interest’ in Getting Pipelines Built

Canada has opened discussions with the Trump administration to find a path forward for oil pipeline projects, Bloomberg News is reporting this week, citing a Globe and Mail interview with Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan.

TC Energy Pushes Ahead with ‘Pipeline to Nowhere’ in B.C.

Taxpayer Funds Could Trigger Pandemic Recovery Loans Above $100 Million Per Fossil Company, EDC Says

Loan guarantees and other forms of financial risk management from Export Development Canada (EDC) could clear the way for bank loans well in excess of C$100 million to help individual fossil fuel companies weather the financial storm produced by the coronavirus pandemic, leaving taxpayers to help cover the banks’ losses if the companies can’t make good on their borrowing, The Energy Mix has learned.

Doug Ford Ontario government

Auditor General to Probe Ontario Recovery Package for Environmental Rights Violations

The Doug Ford government in Ontario passed its economic recovery legislation last week despite warnings from Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk the massive omnibus bill could violate the province’s Environmental Bill of Rights. Now an opposition MPP is asking the AG to investigate.

Ohio Plans Repeal of Coal, Nuclear Bailout After Bribery Scandal Snares House Speaker

The outsized political power of U.S. utilities has come into sharp focus over the last 10 days, with bribery scandals in Ohio and Illinois reaching senior politicians in both states, including the speakers of both state houses.

Storage Can Speed Transition to Renewable Grid, But Obstacles Remain, Study Finds

Increased reliance on electricity storage will make it easier for established power grids to retire their coal- and gas-fired power plants, postpone pricey and often controversial transmission line expansions, and get more output from the renewable energy installations they invest in, according to a new study in the journal Applied Energy.

Landmark Australian Lawsuit Ties Investor Risk to Climate Change

In what observers are describing as a “world-first” legal case, a 23-year-old law student from Melbourne is taking the Australian government to court, charging it with failing in its legal duty to inform investors in its sovereign bonds about climate-related financial risks.

Canada Flunks Climate Test with ‘Policy Full of Loopholes’ for Assessing New Projects

Canada’s new impact assessment rules for power plants, pipelines, and other major infrastructure fall far short of the climate test environmental organizations have been calling for, and only require a path to net-zero emissions for projects that will still be in operation in 2050, under a new federal framework unveiled last week.

Judge Quashes Trump’s Methane Regulation Rollback as Global Emissions Hit All-Time High

In a decision last week, a U.S. judge called a halt to the Trump administration’s bid to roll back methane regulations enacted by President Barack Obama, just a couple of days after scientists reported global methane emissions hitting record highs in 2017.

Keystone XL Faces New Lawsuit Over Environmental Permitting Process

The Nebraska-based Bold Alliance launched yet another legal challenge to the Keystone XL pipeline last week, after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision to halt construction due to a faulty environmental permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Alberta’s Environmental Monitoring Suspension Broke Agreement with NWT

Alliance Urges Nordic Council to Support Heavy Fuel Oil Ban

Exxon Court Case in Colorado Moves to Next Stage

$2.7-Trillion in Ecosystem Investments Would Generate 400 Million Jobs: WEF

A yearly investment of US$2.7 trillion in ecosystem health would reap an annual 400 million jobs and $10 trillion in returns through 2030, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum, prompting the study authors to urge policy-makers to make restoration of the devastated natural world a cornerstone of all pandemic recovery efforts.

Wilkinson Sets End-of-July Deadline to Decide on Vista Coal Mine Review

Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has given himself until the end of this month to decide whether to order a federal environmental assessment of a controversial expansion plan for the Vista coal mine near Hinton, Alberta.

Downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland Goes Car-Free for COVID-19

Pandemic-weary residents and business owners in St. John’s, Newfoundland are getting used to a newly-refashioned pedestrian-only downtown, and many of them hoping the changes will be permanent, though accessibility advocates warn the current street closure plan is unfriendly to people with mobility issues.

Gutted Market for Recycled Plastics Hits Waste-Picker Communities Hard

Businesses that commit to incorporating more (and more) recycled plastic into their supply chains will be rewarded for putting the health of the oceans and the well-being of millions of informal waste workers around the world ahead of short-term profit, according to Plastics for Change CEO Andrew Almack.

Trump Environmental Rollback Underscores High Stakes in Fall Election

Fossil Ghostwriters Produce North Dakota Legislators’ Pro-Pipeline Letters

Open Letter to Wilkinson Urges Environmental Assessment for Vista Coal Mine Expansion

A group of 47 Canadian environmental, Indigenous, health, civil society, and faith organizations issued an open letter this week calling on Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson to order an environmental assessment for Coalspur Mines Ltd.’s plan to expand its Vista mine near Hinton, Alberta.

Litigation Drives Global Policy Change on Climate, Study Shows

Recent high-profile legal cases have marked a sea change in climate litigation, showing that the courts are becoming an increasingly effective venue for driving international action on climate change. 

‘Five Tribes’ Control Half of Oklahoma, But Impact on Fossils Could Take Decades to Sort Out

The implications may take years or decades to sort out, but last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision recognizing about half of Oklahoma as Native American reservation territory could raise complicated regulatory and tax questions for the fossil industry.

Canadian Boards Legally Obliged to Factor In Climate Risk: McCarthy

Hackers Target Anti-Exxon Campaigners

Dakota Access Pipeline Continues Accepting Oil After U.S. Judge Orders Shutdown

The company behind the intensely controversial Dakota Access Pipeline isn’t explicitly defying a court order. But nor was it reported to have taken any steps last week to comply with Judge James Boasberg’s ruling that the line must shut down within 30 days, after failing to meet environmental assessment requirements.

Fossils Use Resource Adequacy Concerns to Delay Grid Decarbonization

Now that renewable energy has established its cost advantage over fossil fuels, the industry’s next challenge is to show grid planners they can decarbonize without jeopardizing the reliability of their systems, climate consultant Eric Gimon writes in an analysis for Greentech Media.

Russian Mining Giant Disputes $2.1B Charge for Epic Arctic Oil Spill

Missouri Appeal Court Backs Grain Belt Express Transmission Line

UK Government Faces Court for Recovery Plan that Ignores the Science

Ontario’s Talk of Housing Near Transit a ‘Trojan Horse’ for Rolling Back Environmental Protection

Recent announcements on transit-oriented development, affordable housing, air conditioning in long-term care homes, and even education policy are shaping up as a screen for the Ontario government’s latest attempt to scale back environmental protections and clear the way for unrestrained, decidedly unsustainable development, critics say.

Ecojustice lawyer Fraser Thomson

In Conversation: Canada Mustn’t Allow Vista Coal Mine Expansion Without Environmental Assessment, Thomson Says

Fraser Thomson is a lawyer with Ecojustice and a member of the legal team working to stop the Vista mine expansion.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mining_Technician_Coal_Export_Terminal.png

Up to $6.7 Billion in U.S. Pandemic Relief Handed to 5,600 Fossil Companies

Environmentalists and accountability watchdogs are crying foul over revelations that more than 5,600 fossil companies have taken billions in federal coronavirus aid earmarked for small businesses.

PTSD is the Invisible, Life-Threatening Injury for Wildland Firefighters

An excellent article by Mark Betancourt in High Country News describes the upheaval that occurred in Brown’s life, how he tried to deal with it, and how the government’s system for treating on-the-job injuries failed.

Mexico Supreme Court Suspends Law that Restricted Renewables

Three Projects, Three Wins: Flurry of Decisions Shows U.S. Pipelines Becoming ‘Unbuildable’

The last 48 hours have seen a dizzying series of announcements highlighting the increasingly shaky prospects for North American oil and gas pipelines, with the US$8-billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline cancelled, the U.S. Supreme Court rejecting a bid to immediately restart construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and a federal judge in Washington, D.C. ordering the Dakota Access Pipeline shut down for contravening U.S. environmental law.

‘Toothless’ Noncompliance Order Offers Little to Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders

Coastal GasLink’s willful failure to follow its own legally-mandated Wetlands Management Plan and the toothless non-compliance order subsequently issued by British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) are yet further evidence that the Wet’suwet’en people and their land have little value in the eyes of corporate and colonial interests, the Unist’ot’en Camp warns in a release.

California’s Electric Truck Plan May Do Better than Regulators Think

Species Risk Drives Court Ruling Against Nebraska Transmission Line

Shell Faces Oil Spill Pollution Lawsuit in Nigeria

Drought Forces Puerto Rico to Limit Water Access During Pandemic Response

Still far from recovered from its ravaging by Hurricane María in 2017, Puerto Rico is now struggling under drought conditions, with water woes made worse by financial straits that have prevented its state utility company, PREPA, from dredging critical reservoirs on schedule.

Former Alberta Trade Representative to Head Canada Energy Regulator

In Snub to Trump, Nevada Adopts California’s Tough Tailpipe Emissions Rule

Ireland’s Fossil Levy to Raise €500 Million for Green Projects

House Democrats’ Blueprint Aims for Net-Zero by 2050, Connects Racial Inequity with Rising Temperatures

A climate plan released this week by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives is receiving wide acknowledgement as a sweeping proposal that would bring the country’s greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, promote renewable energy, address environmental harms that fall disproportionately on poor and racialized communities, and implement much of the Green New Deal.

Supreme Court Dismisses Indigenous Appeal of Trans Mountain Re-Approval

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed a bid by three British Columbia First Nations to appeal the federal government’s re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Judge Reopens Line 5, Gives Enbridge a Week to Report Safety Test Results

A county judge ruled Wednesday that Enbridge Inc. can reopen its troubled Line 5 pipeline in Michigan, despite technical concerns about possible structural problems with an underwater section of the line and mounting public skepticism about both the pipeline and its operator.

‘Immense National Effort’ Needed to Mitigate Rise in Canadian Flooding

With country-wide floodwater emergencies and extreme weather events like Calgary’s recent $1-billion hailstorm foreshadowing far worse to come, experts are calling for the creation of a “robust 21st-century strategy on water.”

Alberta Makes It Easy to Dump Orphan Wells on Taxpayers

http://midwestenergynews.com/2013/10/24/as-pipeline-concerns-mount-a-renewed-focus-on-the-great-lakes-enbridge-mackinac-line-5/

Line 5 Pipeline Faces Tuesday Court Date After Judge Orders Temporary Closure

A county judge in Michigan has ordered Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. to shut down its troubled Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac between Lakes Michigan and Huron until a hearing tomorrow can review the state’s request for a temporary injunction against the 67-year-old line.

U.S. Fossils Face New Lawsuits from Minnesota and Washington, DC

U.S. fossils are facing two more major legal challenges, after Minnesota and Washington, DC filed separate lawsuits alleging consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices, and false advertising.

Indonesian Anti-Poverty Program Reduces Tree Loss by 30%

Thirteen years into an Indonesian anti-poverty program that delivers cash payments to poor citizen living in forested areas, experts are cautiously celebrating strong evidence that alleviating poverty—even without qualifications that require conservation work—helps arrest deforestation.

Landmark Transgender Rights Case Could Affect U.S. Climate Law

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling that workplace discrimination laws also protect gay and transgender people is being welcomed by climate law experts as “potent ammunition” in the fight to regulate greenhouse gases, reports The New York Times.

Alberta to Restart Environmental Monitoring in Tar Sands/Oil Sands

Michigan Goes to Court, Calls for Independent Review After Enbridge Partly Reopens Line 5 Pipeline

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is asking a judge to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, less than a week after a company repair crew reported “significant damage” to an anchor support on the line’s eastern portion under the Straits of Mackinac.

Indiana Utility Plans to Cut Coal Use 85% by 2025

Bureau of Land Management Blocks Solar Across 100 Million Acres of SW U.S.

Momentum Builds for Canadian Climate Accountability Act, Long-Term Carbon Targets

Momentum for Canadian climate accountability legislation is beginning to build, with campaigners laying out five pillars for a federal accountability act, a national think tank arguing the benefits of legislated milestones, and a CBC News analysis laying out how such a law might work in practice.

Declaration for Resilience Urges ‘New Normal’ for Canadian Cities

Canada’s urban planning experts, along with leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, have signed on to the 2020 Declaration for Resilience in Canadian Cities, urging policy-makers at all levels to create a “new normal” that makes affordability, sustainability, climate-friendliness, and equity the four cornerstones of any pandemic recovery plans.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraction_of_petroleum

Abandoned Wells Emerge as Massive, Largely Unmeasured Methane Risk

The United States is emerging as a focal point of one of the larger problems arising from oil and gas production: the leaky wells left behind when fossils abandon them rather than cleaning up the health and environmental mess they’ve created.

New Jersey Unveils Plan to Become ‘Wind Turbine Capital’

Determined to be for wind energy what Texas is to fossil fuels, New Jersey has announced plans to become the go-to state for the production of offshore wind turbines, beginning with the construction of a giant port along the Delaware River.

Texas Regulator May Lower the Boom on Natural Gas Flaring

U.S. Court Upholds Oil Lease Cancellation Outside Glacier National Park

Permit Refusal Shuts Down Welsh Coal Mine

Alberta’s Green Economy Could Produce 67,200 New Jobs by 2030

The Pembina Institute has tapped into the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans to produce a job creation plan that could begin decarbonizing the provincial economy and generate 67,200 jobs—or 67% of the current fossil work force—by 2030.

‘Industry Consortium’ to Intervene in Ecojustice Case Against ‘Foreign Funded Radicals’ Panel

A self-styled “industry consortium” that includes pro-fossil provocateur Brett Wilson will be allowed to intervene in a court case launched by Ecojustice, aimed at quashing the Jason Kenney government’s C$2.5-million inquiry into supposed interference in the Alberta oilpatch by “foreign-funded radicals”.

Regulatory Woes Drive Up Cost of Mountain Valley Pipeline

85 Spills in 67 Years: Groups Call for Indigenous-Led Probe into Aging Trans Mountain Pipeline

After a history of 85 spills along the 67-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline, the federal and British Columbia governments must launch an “independent, Indigenous-led expert investigation” into the line’s safety and integrity, a group of Indigenous leaders and environmental groups say in a release issued yesterday by Stand.Earth.

Time to ‘Drop the Hammer’ on Canadian Rail Companies as Oil Trains Keep Derailing

Broken track has led to seven major derailments of crude oil trains in Canada since the tragic Lac-Mégantic disaster of 2013. Now, revelations that Canadian Pacific’s Saskatchewan line is in bad shape have experts urging Transport Canada to become a more aggressive regulator of the country’s rail system.

Climate Impacts of Hurricane Harvey Pegged at $67 Billion

In a finding that could radically alter future calculations of the social cost of carbon, researchers say new methods of event attribution have now pegged the share of damages from Hurricane Harvey that were caused by global warming at 74.4% of the US$90-billion-plus total—much higher than previous estimates of 22%.

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Opens Door for Atlantic Coast Gas Pipeline

The companies building the US$8-billion Atlantic Coast gas pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina and Virginia will be allowed to tunnel beneath the storied Appalachian Trail, following a 7-2 ruling Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

PG&E Pleads Guilty to 84 Deaths in 2018 Camp Fire

Mammoth California utility PG&E pleaded guilty yesterday to 84 charges of involuntary manslaughter, and was expected to acknowledge each victim by name, after sparks from its equipment set off the 2018 Camp Fire, the biggest wildfire in state history.

Unilever Vows to ‘Zero Out’ Emissions by 2039, Put Climate Labels on 70,000 Products

Consumer goods giant Unilever NV has vowed to “zero out” its operating emissions—and those of its suppliers—by 2039, and to keep itself accountable by labelling emissions information on each of its 70,000 products. 

U.S. EPA Faces Third Lawsuit for Environmental Monitoring Rollback

Alberta Shuts Energy Efficiency Agency, Eliminates Cabinet Approval for New Tar Sands/Oil Sands Projects

Alberta is moving to phase out its energy efficiency agency and allow future tar sands/oil sands projects to proceed without cabinet approval under a 14-point omnibus bill introduced last Thursday, prompting the energy efficiency community to scorch the Jason Kenney government for shutting down a job-creating program in the midst of a deep recession.

Canada’s Green Recovery Could Produce 6.7 Million Job-Years, Cut 237 Megatonnes of Emissions by 2030

Canada could create 6.7 million person-years of quality employment by 2030, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 237 million tonnes from 2018 levels, make homes and workplaces more comfortable and flood-resistant, and save citizens C$39 billion per year in fuel, heat, and electricity by embracing a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, analysts Ralph Torrie and Céline Bak and publisher Toby Heaps argue, drawing on a series of seven Building Back Better webinars hosted by Corporate Knights.

Yeampierre: No Climate Justice Without Racial Justice

The exploitative calculus that drives climate change is a mirror to the rapaciousness of slavery—and climate activists who still can’t see the connection between climate justice and racial justice need to wake up, says long-time climate justice activist Elizabeth Yeampierre.

Brazil Becomes Key Battleground in Accelerating Global Deforestation

The destruction of the Amazon rainforest accelerated by 55% in the first four months of 2020 compared to the previous year. Brazil’s answer? Slash the budgets for ecosystem and climate protection—and double down on the notion that the military is the best defender of the forest.

Rogue Russian Mining Company Blames Permafrost Thaw for Biggest-Ever Arctic Oil Spill

Vladimir Putin’s rage over the world’s biggest-ever Arctic oil spill may end up triggering long-overdue environmental reforms, with speculation mounting that a stalled 2018 environmental protection bill might actually pass in the wake of the disaster.

Week 24, June 15: Ecological Restoration

We face an ecological as well as a climate emergency. Because of our human influence, Earth is in the midst a mass extinction crisis: up to a million species are threatened with extinction, many within decades.

U.S. Appeal Court Upholds Line 5 Oil Spill Plan

Indigenous Campaigners Face Higher Risk of Criminalization, Violence

Environmental activism is an increasingly dangerous vocation, with a high risk of criminalization, incarceration, and extreme—sometimes fatal—violence, especially for Indigenous activists. Now, a recent comprehensive study from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona is revealing the depth of both the danger, and the imbalance in who faces it.

Future Looks Lean for Single-Use Plastics Despite COVID-19 Boost

Though single-use plastics have rebounded sharply since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the poor optics of producing a product that is neither biodegradable nor recyclable may foretell lean times for the materials down the road.

Pembina Study Looks to Rein In Skyrocketing e-Commerce Emissions

As e-commerce grows—and accelerates precipitously under COVID-19—freight emissions are likewise surging. A recent report by the Pembina Institute sets out to address the issue by identifying the habits and expectations driving it, and the actions consumers and businesses can take to make online shopping less harmful, if not less appealing.

B.C., Coastal GasLink Drop Charges Against 22 Wet’suwet’en Protesters

Colorado, Virginia Move to Shut Down Super-Polluting HFCs

Exxon Climate Case Clearly Belonged in Mass. State Court, Federal Judge Asserts

Italian Regulator Approves 605-MW Coal Shutdown

In Conversation: On Climate Mobilization, Canadian Public is ‘Ahead of Our Politics’, Klein Says

Seth Klein is a research associate with the British Columbia office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. His book on the Second World War and the lessons it holds for today’s battle to get climate change under control is due to be published in September by Toronto-based ECW Press.

Policy U-Turns by Governments Undercut Investor Interest in Renewables

While the last year has seen a surge of interest in renewable energy among potential investors, many of them are being deterred by concerns about policy U-turns from governments.

Extreme Weather Poses Small but Real Risk to UK Nuclear Reactors

Even as it reassures the British public that the country’s nuclear power plants are built to withstand a one-in-10,000-year event, the United Kingdom’s nuclear regulator is being warned that extreme weather events remain a dangerous threat to the industry.

Journalist Catalogues Every Environmental Protection Canada Has Cut Back Due to COVID

VW Could Face Flood of New Dieselgate Charges

Trump Order to Speed Pipelines, Gut Environmental Protections is ‘Sitting Duck’ for Legal Challenges

Donald Trump signed an order last week to waive environmental safeguards on oil and gas pipeline projects that disproportionately harm minority communities already convulsed by the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice. But his administration may just be cruising for the latest in a string of court defeats in its effort to obliterate laws protecting air quality, drinking water, species, and habitats.

Author, Filmmaker, Environmental Visionary: Canadian Climate Hawks Mourn Silver Donald Cameron

Canada’s climate and environment community lost one of its most persistent, knowledgeable, and creative voices and The Energy Mix lost one of its heroes and partners June 1 when Silver Donald Cameron died in hospital of lung cancer at age 82.

Alberta Under Pressure to Restart Environmental Monitoring for Oil and Gas Operations

A group of seven environmental groups and Indigenous communities in Alberta is pressing the Jason Kenney government to restart environmental monitoring for oil and gas operations and release its criteria for when that work will begin again.

COVID-Wary New Yorkers Weigh Risks of Traffic Versus Transit

As New Yorkers give a wary eye to public transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is scrambling to inform citizens that the very last thing they should do is hop in their cars.

New U.S. EPA Rule Curbs Pipeline Protests

New Regulation in Mexico Favours Public Utility Over Renewables

Charges Laid in Extinction Rebellion Protest Outside Horgan’s Home

Electrifying GTHA Cars, Trucks, and Buses Would Prevent 731 Premature Deaths, Cut 8 Mt of Emissions Per Year

A shift to electric cars, SUVs, trucks, and buses would prevent 731 premature deaths per year in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and reduce the region’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by eight million tonnes, bringing Ontario half-way to meeting its 2030 carbon target, according to a modelling study released this week by Environmental Defence Canada and the Ontario Public Health Association.

Amazon Touts Cloud Services Deal with TC Energy as Keystone Becomes ‘Walking Zombie’

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is drawing the wrath of one of North America’s leading climate campaigners, after proudly announcing in mid-May that TC Energy, the Calgary-based company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, is “going all-in” as a customer for its cloud-based computing service.

Weaver Wins ‘Ultimate Vindication’ in Appeal Court Ruling Against Climate Denier Tim Ball

UNFCCC climate scientist and departing British Columbia Green Party leader Andrew Weaver scored a long-awaited legal victory last week against climate denier Tim Ball, after the provincial court of appeal ordered Ball to stand trial in a nine-year-old libel case.

Pennsylvania Pollution Regulators Scramble During Pandemic

Tennessee Invests $5.7M Payout from VW Scandal in Transit Projects

Massachusetts Solar Firms Complain About New Land Use Rules

Here’s What Canada’s Climate Strategy Would Look Like if it were Modelled on the COVID-19 Response

Canada’s approach to climate change would look a lot different if it were modelled on the all-in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, five of the country’s leading climate advocates argue this week in an opinion piece published simultaneously in The Hill Times and La Presse.

Keystone Faces Delays After Appeal Court Upholds Withdrawal of Environmental Permit

The Keystone XL pipeline and other U.S. pipeline projects are facing further delays, after a federal appeal court in California declined last week to reverse a lower court decision to cancel a national environmental permit that had enabled construction to proceed.

Now-Bankrupt Coal Company Spent $1M to Fight Ohio Renewables Law

EU Confirms Green Strings Attached to €750-Billion Recovery Package, €1-Trillion/Seven-Year Budget

News reports are confirming that the European Union’s seven-year, €1-trillion budget proposal and its €750-billion coronavirus recovery package will both have green strings attached, with 25% of the funds devoted to climate action and a “do no harm” clause to prevent environmentally damaging investments.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headquarters_of_the_United_Nations

Berman, Campanale Call for Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

With fossil jobs drying up, the industry bent under a “staggering mound of debt” despite trillions in subsidies, fossil fuels responsible for 75% of the world’s past greenhouse gas emissions, and companies plotting a massive expansion prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments must adopt a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty alongside a strengthened Paris Agreement, according to Canadian climate campaigner Tzeporah Berman and Carbon Tracker Initiative founder Mark Campanale.

Alaska LNG Project Receives Regulator’s Green Light

New Colorado Law Requires GHG Polluters to Report their Emissions

Newfoundland Fossils Demand Big Federal Bailout While Drilling Program Faces Legal Challenge

Fossils in Newfoundland and Labrador are warning that the industry crash brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has thrown exploration commitments worth billions of dollars into limbo, raising questions about the province’s previous plan to double the size of its oil and gas sector by 2030.

23 States File Suit Against Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have made good on their long-standing threat to file a lawsuit against Donald Trump’s bid to weaken vehicle fuel economy standards enacted by President Barack Obama.

Courts Rule Against Fossils in California Climate Disclosure Case, Reject Montana Oil and Gas Leases Over Sage Grouse Protection

Five of the world’s most colossal fossils will have to face a pair of lawsuits from California cities and counties in state court, rather than trying for more favourable rulings from federal judges, after an appeals court ruled this week that the state level is the proper venue for the courts.

EV Uptake Continues as COVID-19 Thumps European Auto Industry

European electric vehicle registrations doubled in the first quarter of 2020, even as total car registrations fell more than 25%, prompting clean mobility advocates to urge more incentives while fossil car manufacturers plead for bailouts and clemency on climate action.

Landmark NY Pipeline Rejection a Turning Point for State Action

New York State’s recent rejection of a new gas pipeline to Long Island and New York City, based in part on its recent-enacted climate law, is emerging as a possible precedent for other jurisdictions across the U.S.. But legal counters are just as likely, particularly given the Trump administration’s predilection for challenging state authority when it comes to fossil fuel development.

Regulators Almost Always Side with Pipeliners, U.S. Legislators Discover

Bolsonaro’s Deregulation Sets Amazon Deforestation to Skyrocket

Alberta tar sands oil sands

Alberta Killing Fossil Jobs with Massive Regulatory Rollback, Notley Charges

The Jason Kenney government is under attack for killing fossil sector jobs in the midst of a brutal recession, after the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) suspended most environmental monitoring for the province’s oil and gas producers.

Michigan Dam Failures Highlight Risks in Aging Infrastructure, Toxic Sites

Safety officials warn that last week’s double dam failure and resulting, massive flood in Michigan foreshadows a frightening future for aging dams throughout the United States—structures that were never intended to withstand the torrential rains that are arriving with climate change.

Trump’s ‘Blitzkrieg Against the Environment’ Speeds Up as COVID Distracts, Election Nears

The COVID-19 pandemic has become the latest pretext for Donald Trump to shower his fossil industry benefactors with support, with the White House accelerating its rollback of environmental regulations, a key U.S. government agency foregoing royalties on oil and gas drilling on public lands, and fossil companies set to cash in from a coronavirus bond buyback program instituted by the Federal Reserve.

Week 21, May 25: Green Finance

The climate emergency poses four risks to the stability of Canada’s financial system: insurance losses due to climate-related disasters, climate liability stemming from successful lawsuits, stranded fossil assets, and GDP losses resulting in a climate-caused collapse of financial confidence.

Regulatory Credits Drive Tesla’s Profitability